Flemish export poison gas raw material to Syria

Flemish export poison gas raw material to Syria

World April 18, 2018 10:45

brussels - Three Flemish companies are being prosecuted for the export of chemical products to Syria, one of which may have been used to make the nerve gas sarin. They said they were not aware of the license obligation, reports the weekly Knack.

Minister of Finance Johan Van Overtveldt, responsible for customs, does not believe that the companies were not aware of the license obligation. The companies state that the customs themselves were not aware of it either. Van Overtveldt acknowledged on Belgian radio that 'irregularities' have been detected at customs.

This concerns four substances, including isopropanol, for which an export license has been required for five years. This product can be used for disinfection, but also to make saringas.

The companies have to report to the court in Antwerp in mid-May. It concerns A. A. E. Chemie Trading from Kalmhout, Anex Customs from Hoevenen and Danmar Logistics from Stabroek.

According to the minister, no isopropanol has been exported to Syria from Belgium since the end of 2016. Syria had to destroy its stock of that substance in 2013.

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